Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Book Review: Courageous (Valiant Hearts #3)


Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764213144
MSRP: $13.99

Jacket Summary:

Will They Trust God's Call Even When It Leads to the Most Unexpected Places?
Inspired by the vision of the young Lady Sapphira, Rosalind of Ipsworth joins a group of men, women, and children as a defender of the cross, seeking to free captives from prisons near Tripoli. She'll gladly give herself to the cause, as she's haunted by a tragic mistake and feels she no longer deserves such joys as marriage and family might bring.

Sir Randel Penigree was reared to serve in the church but has always dreamt of protecting the innocent as a Templar knight. Joining a crusade to escape humiliation at home, he finds himself drawn to Rosalind as they partner to train and protect a group of adolescents. When faced with political intrigue and an unknown enemy bent on their destruction, they are forced to reconsider their priorities and the very nature of the God they serve.


I must confess I have not read the other two books in this series.  This is the first time I met the character Roslind and her feudal mistress Lady Gwendolyn, but the story stands on its own quite well.

Courageous is a Christian tale set in the times of the Crusades, not long after the the Childrens' Crusade, or, about 1219 AD.

The history of the Crusades was new to me.  Dina did some great research on the area, the people, and the customs of the period.  There is also quite a lot of information on the Muslims, which are given a fair and reasonable portrayal.

The characters are very well-developed, as is the realism around them.  This includes how some historical figures like Brother Francis give the story an almost real-life feeling.

As far as the storyline, this book is a pretty typical romance novel.  If you are familiar with pattern of the Regency Romance novels, then the ending is already obvious by about chapter 4.

In spite of the genre-related predictability, there are a few attempts at confusing the reader to make the inevitable ending of the story more surprising when it happens.


1) Abortion is talked about and in this story.  Not glorified in any way, just described in vivid detail how it felt.  This is a very graphic heart-breaking scene.

2) There are also several instances of men and women trying to find a warm body to fill their bed just to release their boredom.

3) This story is set in the Medieval world and contains plenty of killing, poisoning, and other violence.


If you enjoy Historicals and don't mind predictable romances, this might be a fun read to spend a lazy afternoon.  Of course, stay away from this if you are sensitive to strong thematic elements and sexuality.

In all honesty, I don't know if this was a good choice for me.  Not knowing any better, I chose it for the promise of an exciting Medieval story and a cool-looking cover.  I mainly want this review to serve as an aid to anybody considering this book, so that they know what they'll be getting.

Live YOUR adventure!
  -E.L. Fletcher

Disclaimer:  The preceding review was done on materials sent to me for free from the publisher.  If you would like your own book reviewed, please use the contact information here on my blog (www.EdmundLloydFletcher.com) or message me through social media.